March 08, 2023
Fatty liver is caused by the excessive accumulation of fat in liver cells. The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the Hispanic population is estimated at approximately 25%; however, in the high-risk population, such as obese or diabetic people, it is higher: 50% in overweight patients, up to 95% in obese people, 70% in type 2 diabetics, and 50% in patients with high triglycerides. On this occasion, Dr. Adelina Lozano, a gastroenterologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, offers us more information on the subject.
Fatty liver does not produce symptoms. It is usually discovered incidentally in abdominal ultrasound studies for checkups or other causes.
It can be a consequence of multiple factors:
The presence of fatty liver is diagnosed by abdominal ultrasound; this method allows a diagnosis with high sensitivity and specificity. It is estimated that at least 30% of the liver has fatty infiltration, when it can already be detected by ultrasound.
If adequate treatment is not carried out, fatty liver can progress to states of persistent inflammation and subsequent appearance of liver fibrosis, finally presenting cirrhosis and liver cancer; especially in patients with diabetes mellitus.
Dr. Adelina Lozano
Gastroenterologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma